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COllaborative Platform for trAnsmedia storytelling and cross channel distribution of EUROPEan sport events

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - COPA EUROPE (COllaborative Platform for trAnsmedia storytelling and cross channel distribution of EUROPEan sport events)

Reporting period: 2020-11-01 to 2022-04-30

COPA EUROPE aims to address the exploding demand for non-linear, more engaging sports content consumption, globally and without borders by leveraging Over-The-Top and combining it with new set of media technologies that will democratise the consumer experience, enable cost-sensitive live video from anywhere, and personalize the distribution to change the experience of each viewer individually.

COPA EUROPE aligns with the goals of the Digital Single Market strategy through carefully facilitating a self-contained, token-based economy for the support of transparent digital transactions in direct-to-consumer relationships fostered through smart contracts supported by blockchain technology. Through the unique capabilities offered by the latter, new opportunities can be unlocked. Blockchain-enabled ledgers, for instance, are an efficient means by which one can authenticate that only a single copy of an item exists, and thus can be applied to digital assets, such as media rights for tracking purposes.

The following objectives are set for the COPA EUROPE project:
Objective O1: To design a decentralized E2E platform for sports media channel federation, enrichment and broadcasting
Objective O2: To implement the infrastructure needed to allow content creators and producers of live coverage to react in an adaptable and flexible way to live sports outcomes
Objective O3: To disrupt the OTT sports media services market with unprecedented flexibility of purchasing and subscription management options
Objective O4: To produce higher quality services that respect users’ personal data and privacy by capitalizing on data network effects through federated learning (FL)
Objective O5: To implement content adaptation and Quality of Experience for interactive high quality media delivery
Objective O6: To develop and pilot alternative platforms for broadcasting the content, connecting fans with detailed, real-time information
Objective O7: To validate the COPA EUROPE vision through solid, real-life use cases and public, live demonstrators
Objective O8: To implement impact-driven dissemination, standardisation and exploitation
The work during the first 12 months of this period was dominated and focused on the design activities, first gathering and documenting end-user requirements, at the same time that use cases were defined and specified in detail, including the involvement of external stakeholders enrolled into the project Advisory Board. Another mainstream activity in this initial period was related to the overall technical specification of the COPA EUROPE platform, including both tools specification and platform architecture, followed by the different COPA EUROPE components design.

The last 6 months of the period have been much more focused on the development activities from the technical work packages, which have resulted in the first version of the COPA EUROPE platform, to be used in the first pilot trials. In fact, the pilot deployment activities have also started by producing the pilots deployment plan and evaluation strategy.
Additionally, an important number of horizontal activities have also taken place during the whole period, particularly dissemination and standardization activities, innovation, business planning and exploitation activities, data management, legal and ethical framework and assessment, and project management.

The main achievements accomplished during this period have been:
- Use case specification and project requirements
- Architecture of the COPA EUROPE platform
- First version of all the COPA EUROPE components, ready to start first trials
- Integration framework and infrastructure
- Description of the pilots planning for the 3 Use Cases
- Dissemination plan and activities
- Market analysis and first version of Business models
COPA EUROPE have several ambitions to go beyond the state of the art in several areas:
- Data-driven, transmedia content production for emerging broadcasting properties (eSports)
COPA EUROPE aims to translate raw match live coverage into transmedia audience-facing graphics and visual summarizations. These are incorporated as augmented graphical elements, as well as in secondary displays toward enriching the streaming content prior, during and after the conclusion of the broadcast with additional information, extracted from the data processing.
- Tokenization of digital assets with blockchain technology
COPA EUROPE suggests a new non fungible token which represents media content and ownership. Moreover, it explores different aspects of the access rights to the token which allows to express notions such as copyrights, sharing of the tokens and minting to express royalty payment for token owners.
- Blockchain-based rewarding systems
Blockchain-based loyalty systems currently in place are simple, COPA EUROPE develops a mathematical model based on game theory to provide an optimal reward mechanism to attract participants to join the network.
- Federated Learning for practical, real-life applications
The innovation in COPA EUROPE is on the algorithmic side (new FL schemes and compression algorithms) and on scalability and reliability. The activities on FL are integrated in standardization efforts of the MPEG group, which is currently working on new standards for compression of neural networks for multimedia content description and analysis, which also includes FL.
- High quality video compression and adaptive distribution
COPA EUROPE studies and defines a video pivot format based upon one of the video standards and proposes it to standardisation as the internal format to be used for decentralized video streaming platforms.
- User perceived, subjective video quality assessment
The use of learning-driven Quality of Experience video sequence comparison metrics resulting from the use of Convolutional Neural Networks frameworks can lead to alternative error metrics useful for processes such as video compression.

Based on the previous ambitions, COPA EUROPE will deliver a set of concrete and added value exploitable results:
ER1. System for detecting actions in esports video content
ER2. System for detecting actions in sport video content
ER3. Multi-format Video reception gateway
ER4. DASH streaming module
ER5. FL and Clustered FL for Recommender Systems
ER6. League of Legends events database
ER7. esports data driven graphics production tool
ER8. Transmedia storytelling manager
ER9. VR viewing esports experience
ER10. Blockchain services catalogue for the tokenization of media content
ER11. Integration with partners' streaming and Media Asset Management
ER12. Association of LU live video with Blockchain
ER13. Transmit over 5G

All these results derive in several potential impacts:
- Strategic impact: Sports media rights policies and directives, Sports policy, Policy on Blockchain Technologies, Regulation and sport status of eSports in the EU.
- Economic impact: COPA EUROPE aims to nurture and cultivate a relationship between traditional Media and Entertainment stakeholders and the emerging eSport industry so as to drive growth that can place European companies in a leadership position globally, as superior innovators in both future broadcasting solutions and fan engagement.
- Societal impact: COPA EUROPE aims to enhance transmediality of (e)Sports participatory cultures. Furthermore, tools are developed to encourage voluntary participation in such communities, with emphasis placed on quality, productive contributions.